World War 3: US urged to ‘radically attack China beyond language’

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China has for years been accused of gross human rights abuses. More recently, the global community’s attention has focused on the mistreatment of the Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, China’s most north-westerly province. As recently as last month fresh reports uncovered large numbers of new detention camps being built, despite President Xi Jinping’s assurances that its “re-education” system was being scaled back.

The Chinese state over the last decade has slowly upped restrictions and abuses on the ethnic Uighur population, with over a million currently thought to be in camps across the region.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute says there are 380 suspected facilities in the Xinjiang region.

Elsewhere, in Tibet, ethnic minorities also face severe persecution if they express their native cultural identities – things that clash with the current government’s Han-Chinese centric model for the mainland.

Many governments around the world have verbally hit back against China on these issues.

Yet, as Yaqiu Wang, a China researcher for Human Rights Watch, told, verbally “radical attacks” against China have thus far proved fruitless.

She said the US must partner and ally with other countries and go beyond the existing rhetoric, putting pressure on President Xi with things like trade and business sanctions.

Ms Wang explained: “It’s always important for the US government to take a stand to speak critically of China’s human rights abuses.

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“Yet at this point in time the most radical things being done to attack China’s handling of human rights – only language – are getting us nowhere.

“The Chinese government isn’t responding to this sort of pressure, so the US and others need to be more consequential in their policies to address human rights issues.

“The US and many European countries are not happy with China and its record, and so should make an effort to align with each other and other democratic countries to pile on the pressure.”


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Several countries have already slapped sanctions on China.

Earlier this year, US President Donald Trump blacklisted the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, along with Sun Jinlong, former party secretary of XPCC, and Peng Jiarui, XPCC’s deputy party secretary and commander, over accusations of their being connected to serious human rights abuse in Xinjiang.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson in July also offered up to three million Hong Kong residents the chance to settle in the UK with British National Overseas Passport after China prematurely ended the “One Country, Two Systems” framework.

However, China has responded to such sanctions with sanctions of its own.

Today, President Xi announced his plans to penalise several major defence companies in retaliation for multibillion dollar US arms sales to Taiwan.

Earlier this month, a cross-regional group of 39 United Nations member countries issued a stringing public rebuke of China’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet.

Many took it as proof that a growing number of states around the world are willing to voice their concern despite Beijing’s threat of retaliation.

German Ambassador Christoph Heusgen said in a statement on behalf of the group to the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee: “We are gravely concerned about the human rights situation in Xinjiang and the recent developments in Hong Kong.

“We call on China to respect human rights.”

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